Location: Sarfuddinpur, Bihar
In June this year, I was in Sarfuddinpur, a village in Muzaffarpur district in north-central Bihar. This was my tenth round of qualitative data collection in this village and I wanted to document the stories of a few Self-Help Group, or SHG, leaders; Shakuntala Devi was one of them. I first observed her presiding over an SHG meeting under the village peepal tree in July 2013. She was expertly facilitating a discussion with other SHG members around loans, but also around child health issues and the challenges faced by women in the marketplace. She disciplined free riders and rewarded contributors with a respected leader’s ease. Since then, I have seen her conduct many other meetings.
Since last year there has been much talk of possible financial stress stemming from increased debt leverage in non-financial corporates of emerging markets economies. A recent study has brought to light some key evidence on the Latin American case (Bastos et al, 2015).
EME non-financial corporate debt has been on the rise
Back in 2013, I called attention to new features of international long-term private debt finance in developing countries that arose since the global financial crisis. While global cross-border bank lending with maturities at or beyond five years slowed down after 2008, bond issues have more than filled the void, explaining a rise in total flows since then. While banks in advanced economies – especially in Europe – were deleveraging, unconventional monetary policies and hype about emerging and frontier markets comprised a favorable backdrop for a massive surge in the latter’s bond issuance (Chart 1).
This blog appeared originally in The Times of India
The control of corruption is commonly treated as the responsibility of government. The presumption is that people, firms and corporations will be what they are. So if corruption flourishes in a country, it reflects a failure of government. In informal discussions in the bazaar and angry public forums, the demands are invariably for greater honesty among government servants, tougher laws, and better enforcement. The public outrage against corruption is understandable for corruption is among the biggest obstacles to economic development. At the same time, the solutions offered in popular discourses are often naïve.
This is an except from a post that appeared originally on The World Bank Group's 'Private Sector Development' blog.
Like many World Bankers, I took some time recently to look through the newly released 2015 World Development Report “Mind, Society, and Behavior.” From my perspective, in the Finance and Markets Global Practice, one thing jumped out immediately: The report is packed with insights that are directly relevant to our work on financial inclusion.
From Ghanaians who pay others to take their cash away to Peruvians who invite friends round for chicken, a World Bank survey reveals unusual ways to save. This is an except from a post that appeared originally on The Guardian's 'Global Development Professionals Network' blog.
It was a pretty dry question: “Imagine that you have an emergency and you need to pay £1,300. How possible is it that you could come up with £1,300 within the next month? Is it very possible, somewhat possible, not very possible, or not at all possible? Would you use a credit card, dip into your savings, or ask your employer, friends or family for help?”
For a year and a half, we’d been using our questionnaire to measure how people manage their money around the world: Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. The answers were useful, and we were building up a fascinating global picture . . .